Biotechnology industry in Boston

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Kendall Square area, viewed from across the Charles River

Greater Boston, primarily Boston and Cambridge, is home to more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, ranging from small start-ups to billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies. The many universities in the area give the region a large network of scientists.[1]

The Kendall Square area of Cambridge holds a large concentration of the life science industry, numbering over 120 companies within a mile,[2][3] and has been described as the "center of the nation’s biotechnology industry".[4] The Longwood area of Boston, about two miles from Kendall Square, is also home to many biomedical research companies.[5]


The biotechnology industry in Boston dates back to the 1970s, when genetic engineering was developing. Biogen was the first company in Boston to focus on biotechnology.[6][7]

In 2008, the governor of Massachusetts announced the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, promising $1 billion to further the development of the biotech industry.[8][9] Massachusetts is among the top states for biotech jobs.[10]

In 2016, venture investment in Massachusetts biopharma companies was $2.9 billion, and more than half of the biotech companies in the state receiving venture capital were located in Cambridge. When Cambridge and Boston were considered together, they received more than 80% of the funding in the state.[11] Seven teaching hospitals are located in Boston, contributing to the research efforts. Five of the top six NIH-funded independent hospitals in the United States are located in Boston.[12]

Local industry[edit]

The Broad Institute is located in the life sciences hub of Kendall Square

Academic institutes[edit]

Biotechnology companies[edit]

Pharmaceutical companies[edit]

Other related companies[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ramsey, Lydia (May 13, 2017). "Insiders reveal how Boston moved to the forefront of the global fight against deadly diseases". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  2. ^ Garde, Damian (5 May 2016). "Get to know Kendall Square, biotech's booming epicenter". STAT.
  3. ^ Ledford, Heidi (11 June 2015). "Start-ups fight for a place in Boston's biotech hub". Nature. 522 (7555): 138–139. Bibcode:2015Natur.522..138L. doi:10.1038/522138a. PMID 26062489.
  4. ^ Logan, Tim. "Developers are scrambling for the next Kendall Square. Where will it be?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Spotlight on Boston/Cambridge". Nature. 13 June 2012. doi:10.1038/nj0376. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Clusterluck". The Economist. January 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Khalid, Asma (June 19, 2017). "How Boston Became 'The Best Place In The World' To Launch A Biotech Company". WBUR (BostonomiX).
  8. ^ "Life Sciences Initiative".
  9. ^ "Gov. Patrick and the Mass. Life Sciences Center Announce Over $100 Million in Capital Grant Funding for Projects in Western Mass". Office of News & Media Relations | UMass Amherst.
  10. ^ Saltzman, Jonathan (January 6, 2019). "For biotech, 2019's not a sky's-the-limit year - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Mass Bio Industry Snapshot 2017" (PDF). Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. 2017.
  12. ^ "Mass Bio Industry Snapshot 2016" (PDF). Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. 2016.